We need to play that game where we require politicians to finish every sentence denouncing supervised injection facilities with the phrase, “and that is why I think injecting alone in a McDonald’s bathroom is better.”
…when someone comes to a SIF, they don’t just shoot up and leave – they will have access to, if they want it, a litany of other health and wellness amenities. These could include case management, entrance into rehab or detox programs, shelter services, free meals, workforce development training, showers, and more. In this so-called “integrated model”, every interaction builds trust and community, and opens pathways for people to feel empowered to help themselves.
If not for the unsanctioned injection facility, most of the site’s visitors told researchers they would have shot up in a park, public restroom, street or between two cars. “Instead of a place kicking me out, it’s a place asking me to come in,” one said.
People are injecting already. The point is they’re injecting in unsterile, dangerous conditions. There’s public discarding of syringes; there are children around, families coming by, and they see it. We want to remove that and bring it in where it’s safe, so it’s good for the individuals who use drugs and it’s good for the individuals who don’t use drugs.
Asked about who’d be liable if someone died at the site, Gagnon asked who’s liable for the drug users currently overdosing and dying on the streets with no supervision. “If people don’t come to our site they have nowhere to go. So I would say, who are we holding accountable for people dying on our streets? No one,” she said
Nigel's day job is being the Community Manager at HIT, he also runs the injectingadvice.com website and a number of other online harm reduction projects. In his spare time he can be found hiding behind a camera.
Craig is a committed harm reductionist, having worked primarily with people who inject drugs for two decades, both in the United Kingdom and Australia. A surfer, climber and wannabe novelist, he sometimes takes photographs too.